Friday, May 23, 2014

Non-duality and Conflicts in the World by Peter Dziuban - Part 3

Non-duality and Conflicts in the World - Part 3
by Peter Dziuban

[From Peter Dziuban's Online e-Book: "Timeless Infinity."  The pdf e-book can be procured from Peter's website:  
http://peterdziuban.com/reading-room/  
Please click on the Consciousness Is All tab when you get to the Reading Room page.  The e-book is the 2nd item down.] 

(The following is adopted from Chapter 18: The Only 'Stance')




Ven: It seems to me that there can only be two 'narratives' for our experience of the world. Both are consistent with the premise that consciousness is the closest description that there can be of a 'me' and that without consciousness there can be no other experience here.

The first narrative then is in line with you and ajata/advaita, and makes the assertion that because there can be no experience without consciousness, therefore everything else is unreal. An apple is simply a set of sensations that are combined in the mind and witnessed by consciousness but has no real existence in itself.

But presumably, the second narrative is equally valid - which is that there is an apple 'out there' which is the object of the sensations that are experienced.  Clearly this apple may well be perceived very differently by different humans, or indeed animals, etc., based on what their senses are programmed to pick up.

Now this second narrative can be deconstructed in line with Dzogchen reasoning that these other 'objects' do not have separate 'inherent' existence and that everything is inter-dependent.

I think you end up at more or less similar non-dual conclusions, but narrative (1) seems to deny the reality of the world outside consciousness, whereas narrative (2) seems to accept that there are objects 'outside' of a 'personal' consciousness, but that the apparent separation is wholly illusory.

Not sure if I'm being clear or not, but how have you arrived at narrative (1) being the explanation rather than narrative (2)?

And doesn't narrative (2) mean that there will be a greater degree of compassion for 'world affairs' because the inter-connectedness is emphasized rather than the non-existence of the 'world affairs'


Peter: First of all, let's clarify that we're talking about what appears as "experience of the world" here, not Reality.  In the recent replies [to some of the participants], it was discussed that, in the deepest sense, Infinite Awareness is "beyond" or "pre" even the witnessing awareness which "experiences a world." So…in this sense, Reality does not fit into either of these two narratives. But you did qualify it by referring to an experience of what appears as the world.

Ven: …because there can be no experience without consciousness, therefore everything else is unreal.

Peter: Not clear how you mean that.  My take on the statement as it is worded would be: if there's no experience without consciousness, then there is only consciousness and no "everything else"—thus nothing else to be unreal. Maybe you can clarify? Agreed that an "apple" would be merely sensations and not separate from the "mind."

Ven: …narrative (1) seems to deny the reality of the world outside consciousness, whereas narrative (2) seems to accept that there are objects 'outside' of a 'personal' consciousness, but that the apparent separation is wholly illusory.

Peter: Again, need to be clear about what is meant by "consciousness"…in this case, I take it to mean "witnessing consciousness" or what I still call the "finite mind." On this basis, it isn't really a denial of the reality of any thing—it's not denying what seems or appears to be there—but it definitely is denying the assumption that there's anything separate, or "outside" of the witnessing consciousness or finite mind. In other words, it's not a denial that an apple appears to be there—but it is denying that the "apple" is separate or outside the mind.

Ven: I think you end up at more or less similar non-dual conclusions, but narrative (1) seems to deny the reality of the world outside consciousness, whereas narrative (2) seems to accept that there are objects 'outside' of a 'personal' consciousness, but that the apparent separation is wholly illusory.

Not sure if I'm being clear or not, but how have you arrived at narrative (1) being the explanation rather than narrative (2)?

Peter: I think paragraph #7 in particular, below, addresses this. If I understand your comments above, then what is said below is neither narrative 1) or 2):

From CIA p 132-133:


               …It's a topic that has been debated almost for as long as there appear to have been philosophy and metaphysical teachings. The question always had been whether this apple experience (and thus by extension, all sensory human experience!) would be going on outside the mind, or inside the mind. In one regard it might be said either view is correct. Actually, neither is correct. It all seems to depend on the viewpoint.
               
               Outside or inside the mind is not the real issue.
               
               What never changes is that the apple experience is inseparable from the mind. The "apple" is neither outside nor inside the mind, but is the mind itself in its so-called operation! To see why this s so, first see why neither of the other two is true.


               The traditional, physical or materialist viewpoint assumes the world and universe are physical and that the mind is located inside the body. If the mind is said to be inside the body, then any thing or experience outside of the body (such as the apple) would be considered outside the mind.



               But if one takes a meta-physical, or "mental" viewpoint, everything is seen in reverse. On this basis, the mind is not in the body—the body and all else is said to be in mind, or in thought. So not only the apple, but one's entire experience, is seen as within the mind, or "mental."



               However, neither of these two viewpoints could be true, or be changeless Truth.



               Why? The validity of either view changes depending on the premise, depending on whether one arbitrarily starts on a "physical" or "mental" basis. One is no more or less valid than the other. Both viewpoints also mistakenly imply that the apple is somehow separate from the mind itself; or at least that the mind and apple are two different things. They're not.



                The third alternative which has been largely overlooked is, again, that the "apple" is neither outside nor inside the mind, but is the mind itself in its so-called operation. For example, when the mind experiences the sensations associated with "apple," it can't be said those sensations are  produced by an apple that is separate from the mind, because no separate apple is there to have produced them. Yet if it were not for that particular seeming item or "apple," that particular package of sensations wouldn't exist either. One wouldn't experience those specific sensations with an "orange."



               The "apple" and those specific sensations need each other. Why? The act of sensing and the "thing" sensed are one. No thing exists separate from the sensations of it—and no sensations exist separate from what is sensed. In other words, there aren't sensations of a thing—only sensations as that thing.



               This appears to be true for all items in finite human experience, not just apples!  What it means is, there isn't the finite sensing mind and any item, or any form of experience apart from the mind. It all is the mind; it is one. It means the finite "sense-mind" doesn't ever think about a condition—the mind is the condition. The mind doesn't visit or think in terms of places; the mind literally is the places. It doesn't sense all the planets and things in the stellar universe.  The mind is all the things; it is the universe.


(To Continue ..... Part 4)


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